CAPA and what it means for Allegany County

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For the last 8 month, the Allegany County Animal Shelter is saving at least 93% of all incoming animals. The Allegany County Animal Shelter has a extensive Foster program and progressive adoption programs. However, the County Code has not changed and it still allows the killing of animals for any reason. We will be looking in to changing the County Code by approaching the County Government.

Another way to legally put a stop to the killing in Allegany County is CAPA which stands for “Companion Animal Protection Act” and would be introduced on State level.This law mandates the programs and services which have proven so successful at lifesaving in shelters which have implemented them; follows the only model that has actually created a No Kill community; and, focuses its effort on the very shelters that are doing the killing. As a result, it provides a framework for success unavailable from traditional legislative models such as punitive legislation aimed at the public or through counterproductive national efforts that legitimize the killing.

CAPA highlights:

• Establishes the shelter’s primary role as saving the lives of animals
• Declares that saving lives and protecting public safety are compatible
• Establishes a definition of No Kill that includes all savable animals including feral cats
• Protects rabbits and other animals, as well as dogs and cats
• Makes it illegal for a shelter to kill an animal if a rescue group or No Kill shelter is willing to save that animal
• Requires shelters to provide animals with fresh food, fresh water, environmental enrichment, exercise, veterinary care, and cleanliness
• Makes it illegal for shelters to kill owner relinquished animals without making them available for adoption or transfer to a rescue group, even in cases where the owner wants the animal killed unless the animal is suffering
• And more…
CAPAmod

In a national survey, 96% of Americans–almost every single person–said we have a moral obligation to protect animals and that we should have strong laws to do so. CAPA mandates the programs and services which have proven so successful at lifesaving in shelters which have implemented them; follows the only model that has actually created a No Kill community; and, focuses its effort on the very shelters that are doing the killing. As a result, it provides a framework for success unavailable from traditional legislative models such as punitive legislation aimed at the public or through counterproductive national efforts that legitimize the killing.

What does that mean for Allegany County? Even if we fail to change the County Code through the County Government, we still have a second chance with introducing a State Legislation (CAPA) for the State of Maryland.

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2 thoughts on “CAPA and what it means for Allegany County

    Christa Rayhill Lemons said:
    August 12, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    Personally, I am hoping you win on both fronts…local and state government. We need stronger laws to protect the animals. I also think we need to go as far as the Federal government and change the agriculture status for companion animals to just that from “live stock” so that puppy mills will be so illegal you will need a valid breeder license to breed dogs.

    Linda Saffell said:
    August 12, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    With good intelligent, compassionate leadership and community support, Allegany County right now is leading our State. It is high time for other Counties to step up their game. It would sure be great to see some real good-natured competition for who can save animals best and help people most. I agree with the earlier comment, too, it would be lovely to see animal protection law that works on BOTH the State and Local levels! I’d like to see groups communicating and coming together as a kind of “caucus” around this — and I think it has already begun with some of the No Kill Conference meetings and talks.

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